Dressing for War

I have been hopeful, prayerful, committed to the positive, the good, the light shining through. I visualize justice, affirm fairness, put dollars and love in the hands of the poor, but every day the light is eclipsed by a curtain of darkness. It is rolling in like the tide, taking our breath away, drowning our hope, our memories of a kind and gentle nation.

I am putting on my combat gear, dressing for war against this tsunami of hatred. I am in battle for the life of my planet. I am in battle for my own heart, that it doesn’t break open before its time. Every day I will speak the truth and release the tears from my body of pain. All the artists are rising up. The poets write through the night, cry out by day. Tenors are warming up and instruments are being tuned. Painters stand at the canvas, ready to charge. We are at each other’s service.

This is our daily prayer from Wendell Berry.

by Wendell Berry

How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.

What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy

In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security;
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.

“Questionnaire” by Wendell Berry from Leavings. © Counterpoint, 2010.